Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Quote of the Day

“Tribulations, if we bear them patiently for the love of God, appear bitter at first, but they grow sweet, when one gets accustomed to the taste.”  
--St. Philip Neri

Friday, May 15, 2015

Quote of the Day

"The Church in heaven is not triumphant because she has turned her back on the sufferings of the world and rejoices in splendid isolation. Rather, the saints already joyfully contemplate the fact that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they have triumphed once and for all over indifference, hardness of heart and hatred. Until this victory of love penetrates the whole world, the saints continue to accompany us on our pilgrim way....We share in the merits and joy of the saints, even as they share in our struggles and our longing for peace and reconciliation. Their joy in the victory of the Risen Christ gives us strength as we strive to overcome our indifference and hardness of heart."

--Pope Francis

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Another Earthquake in Nepal

As most of us know, the densely populated Himalayan country of Nepal was struck by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on April 25, killing at least 8,000 people and leaving more than one million survivors homeless. Now, just this morning, only seventeen days later, Nepal has suffered another major earthquake, this one magnitude 7.3. I don't know what the odds are of two seventh-magnitude earthquakes striking the same location less than three weeks apart, but I don't think I've ever heard of this happening before. There is considerable evidence (widely touted by creationists, and largely ignored by evolutionists) that the Himalayan mountains themselves are the result of a tremendous collision between two large tectonic plates during the Great Flood of Genesis. Now the Indian plate is slowly pushing northward over time into the larger main Asian plate, and occasional bumps and rough spots in this process can trigger earthquakes in the region. I also know that India and Pakistan, the two powerful rival nations of South Asia, both have nuclear weapons and occasionally perform underground nuclear tests, especially when they are preparing for war, which can also trigger earthquakes in the Himalayas. I'm not sure what the causes of these two particular earthquakes were, but since I'm not aware of any nuclear testing activities or heightened hostility between India and Pakistan at the moment, I will for now assume natural causes were responsible for these two events.

Although I felt several tremors when I was growing up in California and experienced the magnitude 5.9 quake that shook Virginia on August 23, 2011 at my home more than 100 miles from the epicenter, I have been blessed so far to have never directly experienced a truly destructive earthquake. I can only imagine the gut-wrenching situation in which the people of Nepal now find themselves and what they must be going through at this moment, having lost homes and loved ones just weeks ago, and now with their lives and nerves having been shattered yet again while recovery and rebuilding efforts from the first quake had only just begun. Let's keep the victims of this rare double earthquake in our prayers and compassion and do what we can to help them. Thankfully, Catholic Relief Services has responded to the initial disaster with its accustomed timely, well-organized and professional approach to humanitarian relief, and the agency is now redoubling its efforts to address the latest crisis. I cannot recommend their work highly enough, and I encourage all readers who are able to do so to donate to CRS earthquake relief.